Equity on the road to COP30

septembre 29, 2023


Why International Diplomacy Must Embrace Indigenous & Local Voices for Climate Action at COP30

The theme of International diplomacy was prominent across the discussions, panels, and debates during Climate Week and the UNGA in New York this September. Its role in advancing not only common ambitions and goals but also clear mechanisms to curb the climate emergency.

Among the topics on the multilateralism agenda, one opportunity stands out as key for Brazil – COP30, set to take place in Belém in 2025. 

Hosting an event of this magnitude undoubtedly presents both challenges and opportunities, spanning from the national to hyperlocal levels. It unequivocally places the Amazon at the center of the climate debate, recognizing its importance not only for Brazil but for the entire world.

Beyond discussions on the green economy, just transition, the rule of law, financial mechanisms, among many other fundamental topics in the climate ecosystem, the fact that the Amazon will host COP30 provides a unique opportunity to emphasize equity as a non-negotiable value within the climate movement. One of the most critical turning points: the chance for the Amazon to speak for itself.

International diplomacy and its modus operandi must adapt to ensure that indigenous and local voices are widely represented in speaking forums and negotiation rooms.

This is crucial so that discussions about innovation and green technologies can be informed by the ancestral knowledge of indigenous peoples. It’s imperative that the value of standing forests considers not only biodiversity and the potential for socio-bioeconomic revenue generation but also the practical urban challenges faced by the 30 million inhabitants of the Amazon. 

We need to shift from perceiving the Amazon as a vast green expanse on the map to adopting a hyperlocal perspective, listening directly to the aspirations, desires, and needs of its people. 

The forest already speaks for itself; COP30 will demand that we truly listen to it.

Mariana Ribeiro Conselheira Senior para Programas Globais
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